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Ethics and Professionalism in computing

Ethics and Professionalism in computing Introduction The introduction of information technology and computing over the years has been essential to the growth of various businesses…

Ethics and Professionalism in computing
Introduction
The introduction of information technology and computing over the years has been essential to the growth of various businesses and commerce, government and health. These are some of the areas the impact of computing has had a remarkable influence in its operations making computing part of everyday business. Even with the increase in the penetration of computing due to growth in information technology, there are several concerns on professionalism and ethics that have always emerged as a major concern to designers and developers of various computing software in the industry. The concern has even become more eminent especially with the increasing rise of computing malpractices across the globe.
Computing professionals have recently been involved in the research, design, analysis, development and eventual maintenance of different computer software applications to improve on the existing gaps as they also work tirelessly to provide for the various industrial needs.  Computing is swiftly changing the social diversities, essentially altering our relations in the world. Computing professionals endeavour to place this at the centre of their work as they seek to make computing a valuable and useful profession besides promoting ethics and professionalism in its practices. Computing professionals are therefore compelled to carefully fulfil their tasks since computing has a direct influence on its users as well as other people (Kizza, 2003).

The attention on ethical aspects and professionalism of technology has presented a major concern that has is made computing professionals devoted to achieving integrity in computing. Code of professional ethics sheds light on how individuals should behave within the working station. The recent rise of computing evils and malpractices has been the major concern of ethics and professionalism to computing professionals. Curbing these evils is the core duty of computer professionals (Baase, 2008).
Ethics and Professionalism in computing
Moral concerns have had a larger share of influence in ethics and professionalism in the computing industry. Though easily identified, it’s the role of the computing industry players to properly address such concerns with the society at the back of their minds. (Kultgen, 1988), profoundly describes ethics and professionalism as a mean of maintaining the set standards of behaviour expected in a given profession (Bynum, 2004).
The core objective of professionalism is to guarantee commitment for the good of the society as expressed in the codes of ethics. Computing professions are consequently required to fulfil the needs of their users without sidestepping the professional requirements and ethical concerns in the field of computer technology. As a result, computing ethics and professionalism ensures the examination of computer technology to establish its social impact and determines the formulation of set policies to facilitate ethical use of computing technology for the good of the society as a whole (Moor, 1985).
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The constant desire to create and realize codes of ethics and professionalism in computing has always hit some setbacks in its implementation process with ethical issues as well as the exposures and gaps within the legal framework providing a weak line of support. Ethical issues in computing, as a result of divergent opinions and expectations on the components of a definite clear course of action, prove a hard nut to crack for computing professionals (Baase, 2008).
The lack of a comprehensive legal framework that governs the field has left it wide open to manipulation. Though the association for computing machinery (ACM) outlines the codes of ethics expected in computing world the defiance of these codes have been on the rise as computer technology penetration in the globe takes the centre stage. With nearly every sector embracing computing technology in its operations and the societies grabbing the opportunities presented in computing world, the assimilation of legal, ethical and professionalism would have provided the much-needed protection and privacy to computer users without harm of the industry. The codes provided by ACM provide guidelines that were necessary for professionalism, if adopted then computing would have achieved its full potential (ACM, 1992).
Case study of Mako Networks Company
Mako Networks Company is one of the most prominent companies in information and communication technology (ICT) industry that has remarkably grown in New Zealand with great achievements over the years. The company was established in 2000 and has its headquarters in Auckland, New Zealand and is established to effectively cover its niche of service through operations that are aimed at connecting businesses to the internet and offer security protection to those businesses.
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It has been a sole network management service provider of the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards commonly abbreviated as (PCI DSS). This service is necessary for bank-grade security and enables businesses to carry out their operations efficiently. The Mako system has capabilities of providing a faster and well-connected business network for businesses, a tool that managers use to monitor and evaluate business operations.
The company has a well-organized structure of leadership that involves experienced technology professionals with profound knowledge of ICT management and the security compliances in the industry. The team comprises the management team as well as the board of shareholders who together oversee the efficient and effective running of its business operations. The company’s board of directors’ chair is Doug Fredick, the director is called Bill Farmer and Simon Gamble is the president of North America. Chris Massam is the vice president, client services group, Dennis Monks being the director heading the company’s global operations. The latter three also serve as members of the Mako Networks board of directors. The company has also established itself as a multinational operating in other countries such as the USA among other countries.
The company offers broadband service connections and management of business networks at an affordable rate. The Mako Network system provides continuous networking and security solutions for businesses that are easy to install and control. Its appliances are monitored and controlled by cloud base interface facilitating service provision to countless locations. Mako Networks central management systems (CMS) have been essential for network configuration and visibility for various business operations by its clients. The uniqueness of the company systems has won it the patent right to market its product to other countries in Europe, Asia, America among other potential markets.
Mako Networks ability to secure, protect and enhance the capabilities of business networks has made its services to be highly differentiated from other service providers in the ICT industry.  Besides PCI DSS compliance and cloud-based management, it also offers other services such as automated software updates that are essential in the maintenance of the secure network for business. This also optimizes protection of business networks. These automated updates are in line with the constant threat presented by the evolution of internet threats.
On its course to protect its property the company has (PCI DSS) certification that allows it to carry its businesses as required by the laws of New Zealand. The uniqueness of the company systems has won it the patent right to market its product marketable to other countries in Europe, Asia, America among other potential markets. On access and equity, the company has its affordable internet connection open to all its users without discrimination of any means. It ensures the performance of internet services at a quite affordable rate to all its users.

Privacy of business networks for companies has been an area Mako networks has also worked and achieved. Its systems provide service notification to real-time issues such as alerts to worms, detection of any kind of intrusion and unauthorized access to client network systems. The central management system (CMS) has remained eminent in issuing alerts that may be considered of a reasonable threat level to help the network administrators work easily. Privacy of business information and data is therefore catered for by the company’s system which is also a requirement by the government of New Zealand for any ICT provider.
Its well-secured network systems protect its user’s secrecy and anonymity in such matter as its encrypted and designed to suitable serve the purposes of the client.  Mako Networks has also established itself and met the New Zealand regulations on Liability which is outlined by the liability allocation determination act governing all information and communications technology players. Mako Networks is further governed by the company’s regulations that are in align with the government legislative regulations protecting the industry to ensure fair play for all businesses in the ICT business.
Hence the company has maintained the security obligation of required of any service provider in the ICT industry to secure its software through continual updates to latest versions that are least prone to internet threats. This is in line with the PCI DSS compliance mandates that expects all security software to be constantly updated and reinforced time after time. Security obligation of the client is a prominent issue for every service provider and Mako Networks has mastered these services and provides unique secure business networks and solutions.
Case study on computer programmer and ICT consultant
Professional role of a programmer
Computer programmers have many responsibilities and duties to fulfil that have made them be key players in the computing world. The quantity of responsibility of a computer programmer is dependent on the position held, the company they work for and their desire to achieve greater heights in the field. Some of their roles accomplished by computer programmers range from planning, writing codes and repair of systems.
Computer programmers’ core duties begin with eventual planning on how to write any code. The planning phase involves meeting with software developers and designers where they discuss program design. The programmer goes through the model severally taking note of various flowcharts before he determines the layout and how to write the code.  Programmers may also help with software planning and modelling. This provides a major role in their duty to write and code a given program that will be used to develop a definite software system that is user friendly.
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Computer programmers consequently make use of computer languages to develop programs based on designs and workflow charts designed by software developers and engineers in the industry. The programmer may use of controlling factory equipment and code libraries to simplify program writing and make it simple for others. Programmers must take into consideration the use of comments along with coded instructions to make the code easy for the design stage by the software developers.
Programmers are also tasked to conduct trial runs to ensure their instructions are exact and accurate and the program works as per the drawn design. Programmer can write simple codes that take few days such as cell phone application or also write and code complicated computer system software that can take a long time to develop. A computer programmer must ensure that the program at stake meets the new technological demands in the market. The programmer is also tasked with continual system analysis to ensure programs run efficiently as intended in its design.
The programmer also conducts upgrades and other additions to the program before its eventual development so that it may perform as intended by the developer. Computer programmers progressively make upgrades on the codes written time to time through the use of other software applications. The programmer may also conduct repairs by investigating code for mistakes and making necessary repairs of the available errors. Furthermore, a programmer will work with computer operators and systems analysts to sort operational issues in the system.
The ethical role of a programmer while discharging the above duties includes having in his mind the society as a whole. This means the programmer has to contribute to society and human being positive. The computer system the programmer develops must reduce negative consequences to society and make everyday activities and work easier. The programmer must observe quality and standards in the design and development of computer systems.
Computer systems developed by the programmer must have positive influence to any third party. Therefore, software developers should minimize the risk of harming others through coding errors and other security matters at hand by following standards to design and test of systems. The programmer must be honest and trustworthy in his job. This is part of the ethical role of any programmer in the industry. Programmer must be aware of his limitations in knowledge so he should report any undesirable outcome in his design (Baase, 2008).
The programmer must acknowledge intellectual property and rights in software development. It’s unethical to use other person’s work illegally especially without giving credit to the owner of the work. The programmer must also respect the privacy of others while working on the software. Programmers must consider private information confidential and hide it from unauthorized users. Any deviant from the above ethical considerations presents a breach of ethics by the programmer at work. The programmer must, therefore, work to ensure ethics and professionalism in his work (Baase, 2008).
The professional role of an ICT consultant
The information and communication technology (ICT) Consultant in a firm is to responsibly deliver ICT consultancy services. The ICT consultant will ensure the provision of expert technical advice and support to the firm. The ICT consultant may also assist in issues relating to the desktop and server environment within an organizational setup. He has a further duty of ensuring compliance of ICT Infrastructure and software distribution adopted by the firm in mention.  A close look at the core duties of an ICT consultant may entail the following roles that may differ from company to company.
An ICT consultant must provide timely professional intervention if need required. The ICT consultant provides effective ICT solutions that are viable for design and implementation among shared services (SA). So an ICT consultant will make expert advice matters relating to the desktop and server environment and general ICT infrastructure. ICT consultant has to coordinate the identification and resolution of complex ICT troubleshooting activities to ensure appropriate technical support on the same.
It’s the role of an ICT consultant to exercise responsibility for the coordination of projects and programs of work connected with the design, development and maintenance of ICT services within Shared Services SA in a firm. An ICT consultant may also advise on the establishment and maintenance of a robust and achievable ICT architecture that can easily assist in the achievement of strategies, product development and enhancement within shared services and other clients.
The ICT consultant should also give appropriate expert technical knowledge and expertise in the development of ICT policies of the firm. The consultant must, therefore, contribute to the planning work and eventual attainment of Shared Services SA objectives, goals and priorities, through the application of extensive ICT knowledge, expertise and experience acquired over time (Johnson, 2005).
An ICT consultant should ensure ethics and professionalism in his discharge of duties making sure his discharge of duties is to the benefit of the society as a whole and does not contribute negatively to the society. Observance of organizational values and culture should be at the centre stage while discharging the duties at hand. Observance of set company regulations as well as professionalism while at work should be the core desire of an ICT consultant at the workplace. Any unethical and unprofessionalism by ICT consultant while carrying out his duties such as exposing private information should not be tolerated at the workplace (Jones, 2007).
Conclusion
The growing importance of ethics and professionalism in computing should be the centre stage of any new developments in the present market. The computing industry player should work around the clock to ensure observance of ethics in the form of security, safety, privacy and confidentiality while at work.
References
Baase, S. (2008). A gift of fire: social, legal, and ethical issues for computing and the Internet (3rd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.
Bott, F. (2014). Professional Issues in Information Technology Second edition. (2nd ed.). Swindon: BCS Learning & Development Limited.
Jones, S. (2007). Ethical, Legal and Professional Issues in Computing. Cengage Learning.
Kizza, J. (2003). Ethical and social issues in the information age (2nd ed.). New York: Springer-Verlag.
Kultgen, J. (1988). Ethics and Professionalism.
ACM. (1992). ACM code of ethics and professional conduct. [Available on the Internet:] http://www.acm.org/constitution/code.html [Date of use: 14 May 2015].
Moor, J. (1985). What Is Computer Ethics? Metaphilosophy, 266-275.
Bynum, T. (2004). Computer ethics and professional responsibility. Malden, MA: Blackwell Pub.
Johnson, D. (2005). Computer Ethics. A Companion to Applied Ethics, 608-619.
Network Management Made Easy. (n.d.). Retrieved May 14, 2015, from http://makonetworks.com
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